Burglary Suspects Caught After Attempting to Sell Stolen Items Back to Victim

Two burglary suspects were identified and arrested on Saturday after one attempted to sell stolen items back to the person they were originally stolen the from. Rustin Rodgers (DOB 8/30/83), and Mario Miller (DOB 5/13/85), both of Port Charlotte, are now in the Charlotte County Jail on charges of Burglary, Grand Theft, and Dealing in Stolen Property.

The stolen chainsaws after their return.

On Saturday, October 12, deputies were contacted by the victim who reported a vehicle burglary and theft at his Port Charlotte residence. The victim advised that sometime overnight two chainsaws were removed from a toolbox in his vehicle. The victim texted Rustin Rodgers to see if he knew anything about the theft as he lives nearby. The victim offered Rodgers a $800 reward if the chainsaws could be located.

Rodgers responded to the victim, stating that he did know where the chainsaws were and sent the victim a picture of one of the saws. Rodgers then requested $1,000 for their return, also requesting the victim not contact law enforcement. Detectives responded to Rodgers’ address to investigate. Rodgers was home and gave the detectives with the chainsaws. He also provided the detectives a statement. A second suspect, Mario Miller, was also identified by detectives.

Detectives were able to determine that both Rodgers and Miller left their residence and went for a walk through the victim’s neighborhood. Text messages were obtained between Rodgers and Miller, indicating they shared photos of the stolen saws with each other during the evening. Miller declined to provide a statement to the detectives.

Based on the evidence obtained throughout the investigation, Rustin Rodgers and Mario Miller were arrested for their involvement in the burglary to the victim’s vehicle, the theft of the chain saws, and the attempted sale of the saws back to the victim.

Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell encourages victims of a crime to report it immediately. “Timely reporting of a crime or a suspicious incident provides deputies the best opportunity to investigate what occurred,” stated Sheriff Prummell. “The victim in this case did the right thing by calling law enforcement right away, preventing additional burglaries by these suspects.”

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